The Indonesian transport ministry has acquired a fleet of training aircraft for its flight training academy, STPI.
The deal, worth Indonesian rupiah (Rp) 180.6 billion ($19.7 million), consists of 18 Piper Warriors and two Bell 206 helicopters, says the ministry.
Six of the aircraft have been delivered to Indonesia, with the remaining 12 aircraft to be delivered in stages until end-2013. The Bell 206 helicopters will be delivered in 2013.
STPI will phase out 12 of its older aircraft, which are more than 25 years old, and replace them with the Piper Warriors, says Wahyu Satrio Utomo, a senior official at the academy. The phased out aircraft will be auctioned off.
The new trainer aircraft will be deployed to academies such as those located in Semarang and Sumenep on the island of Java, says STPI director Yudhi Sitompul Sari.
The flight training academy has a fleet of three Bell 206 helicopters and 36 aircraft, comprising Socata TB-10 Tobagos, Beechcraft C23 Sundowners, and Piper Dakotas and Barons.
Indonesia needs 4,000 pilots by 2014, and with addition of the new aircraft, STPI will be able to produce 400 pilots per annum, an increase from 100 pilots previously.